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Andrew Holyfield

Hi everyone! My name is Andrew. I graduated Summa Cum Laude at UC Riverside in 2016, with a B.A. in Creative Writing. While there, I completed the Honors Program, published a thesis, was an editor for both the campus Research Journal and Honors Program literary journal, joined the Writing Program as a Teaching Assistant, and completed three MFA courses, all with a 4.0 GPA.

Tutoring started for me in the campus Writing Program, in which I tutored eighteen students per week. Around that same time, my younger brother, diagnosed with Aspergers,  started college. I tutored him during his four-year journey to receive his Paraprofessional Certificate.

Nerdy as it sounds, I love Grammar and read often (in-between Netflix binges). Until my time at UC Riverside, I abhorred reading and preferred the trusty summaries from Spark Notes. I know English and writing can be both challenging and boring, but perhaps all a struggling student needs a little help and positive reinforcement. If that sounds like you or your kid, I'd love to help.

I’m a published songwriter with 20+ years experience in the music industry.

English 9

Ages 13+

Prerequisites:  Students should know how to write a 5 paragraph essay prior to taking this class. 

Homework:  Please plan to spend at least 2 hours / week on reading and writing for this class.


In English 9, students will learn to analyze and write about a variety of literature; novels, short stories, poems, speeches and informational text.  They will learn to expand their ideas through collective discussion of the themes of our readings, re-writes of their essays, and group sharing of their ideas.

Summer Reading:

In preparation for the fall session, students will need to read Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.  They will start to prepare their narrative essays by researching the author of their book as well as learning about the background of this memoir. 


In the fall we will start by studying Memoirs/Autobiographies and learning to write a Narrative Essay.  Students will give brief speeches on their summer learning about Anne Frank and what she experienced during WWII.  We will discuss the various themes throughout the book, look up new vocabulary that will be used within our writing, and work in groups to discuss what we think are the best quotes to include in our writing.  We will then move on to reading and analyzing Information Text where we learn about student protests to the Vietnam War in Tinker vs. Des Moines, and compare this to Letter from A Birmingham Jail, where Martin Luther King Jr is jailed for a different type of non-violence.  Information text gives us an opportunity to learn about logical fallacies, and we'll enjoy finding these in both historical and modern times!  Argumentative essays will be able to be either a written essay or a powerpoint presentation given to the class!


In the winter we will enjoy reading Animal Farm and learning to write Informational Essays using MLA formatting.  Animal Farm is easy to read, but layered with meaning.  As we read this novel, we will also be learning about the underlying historical context of Marxism, Leninism and Stalinism and the events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917.  In our essays, we'll explore not only how to summarize our novel, but we will also explore any of the themes within the novel, ensuring that we have a thesis statement, quotes from the novel to support our ideas and other information chosen to inform the reader.  We will continue to practice MLA formatting in this session.


Our final session will focus on Poetry!  We'll be reading 5 or more poems, including works from Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allen Poe and more!  We'll complete research to learn about the author’s background and the time period the poem was written. We will learn to analyze the poem in parts and as a whole, using context, defining unknown vocabulary, and identifying tone and mood. Weekly exercises will help us learn to decipher poems and the symbols within a poem, exploring what these symbols mean to us in our lives.  Students will also have an opportunity to write their own original poetry and present this to our class!


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